This is one of the many good lessons I have learned from my friend Sachin. The deplorable state of various amenities in our hostels is something we constantly whine about. I had an interesting experience recently in this regard. There is a cistern above the urinals in our washrooms. I am not sure if people are aware of that because I have never seen them working here in any hostel in over three years. Perhaps no one complained to the concerned person for this, though lots of people come out of and go into washrooms with their hands on their noses. Cisterns are supposed to constantly let some drops of water fall on the urinal so that urine is flushed out regularly which otherwise smells like shit. Naphthalene balls are a cheaper solution but I was impressed to see cisterns in their place. So, I thought that when we are given this costly facility, why not it be put to use. I used the electronic complaint system launched last semester. Its response was far more than I expected. The plumber knocked at my door the very next day! I was truly taken by surprise. I showed him the situation, he did something. The cistern worked for a day. After that, rather than sprinkling water, it was like a running tap! It was closed in few days. This semester, I complained again. Again they came to me on the first working day itself. I was this time not too impressed because I expected that like last time, he will do some quick service to show officially that he has fixed the problem and gain money- typical ‘sarkari’ method. So I talked to him this time in a very firm manner. He explored the cistern very patiently and told that some thing was blocked for not having been used for ages. I was appalled to see that such costly things are kept idle to become useless in long time (by the way, the expensive Sony music system in the gym is another such example). It was truly useless now, as he had to change it. Two days later, I got a new cistern in out washroom. It is not the branded Parryware or Hindware like the previous one, but it does work! And ours is perhaps the only washroom at least in Manas that has a cistern up and running. By the way, I also noticed in admin building recently, a urinal with automatic cistern, it had a sensor! I really felt that I was Indian Institute of TECHNOLOGY.
Moral of the story? Rather than bitching about “JUST TEN SPOONS IN MESS” or “FED UP WITH ONLY ‘Panther’ PRESCRIBED IN DISPENSARY?” or “WHY ARE HOSTEL TOILETS STINKING”, get up and talk politely but firmly to the person responsible for the situation. Remove this misconception from the minds of admin that ours is just another ‘sarkari’ office. This is IIT, where they have got to deal with educated and young dynamos called IITians who know well how to fight for their right.